Striking Back: Latest Developments

• In a late development, authorities are searching for a man with ties to al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden’s global terrorist network, as a central player in masterminding the Sept. 11 terror attacks on America, reported Friday afternoon. The plot was conceived, developed and financed in Europe and the Middle East, they say.

• The man is known to have lived in Europe, though sources would not say whether or not he is still believed to be there. Furthermore, says, U.S. authorities have nearly finished developing a case that can be made against the man in a court of law.

• Also on Friday, Pakistani religious and government figures met the leader of Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban but failed to persuade him to surrender Osama bin Laden, a member of the delegation told Reuters.

• Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar told the delegation that “America should give up its stubbornness, and only then can Afghanistan negotiate,” said Mufti Mohammed Jamil, leader of Pakistan’s Jamiat Ulema e-Islam party, who took part in the talks.

• President Bush has demanded that the Taliban surrender bin Laden — the prime suspect in the attack on America — and his lieutenants. Bush has made clear that the U.S. demands are not negotiable.

• A top Bush administration official told AP on Friday that U.S. and British forces have been conducting scouting missions in Afghanistan, apparently as a prelude to action.

• The FBI, deep into what has become the biggest criminal investigation in U.S. history, has released the names and pictures of all 19 suspected hijackers involved in the Sept. 11 assault. “We believe that one or more of them do have contacts with al Qaeda,” FBI Director Robert Mueller said.

• Friday morning on the “Today” show, The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward detailed the final prayers and instructions that the 19 suicidal hijackers carried out. Among their rules, he said, was to be wearing “clean shoes . . . before they entered paradise.”

• In The Post, Woodward wrote that Mohamed Atta, allegedly one of the key organizers of the Sept. 11 attacks, left behind a five-page handwritten document in Arabic that, in addition to the Islamic prayers and instructions for his accomplices’ last night of life, reminded them to bring their “knives, your will, Ids, your passport” and, finally, “make sure that nobody is following you.”

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